Identification of telomerase RNAs in species of the Yarrowia clade provides insights into the co-evolution of telomerase, telomeric repeats and telomere-binding proteins

Filip Červenák, Katarína Juríková, Hugo Devillers, Binyamin Kaffe, Areej Khatib, Erin Bonnell, Martina Sopkovičová, Raymund J. Wellinger, Jozef Nosek, Yehuda Tzfati, Cécile Neuvéglise, Ľubomír Tomáška*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Telomeric repeats in fungi of the subphylum Saccharomycotina exhibit great inter- and intra-species variability in length and sequence. Such variations challenged telomeric DNA-binding proteins that co-evolved to maintain their functions at telomeres. Here, we compare the extent of co-variations in telomeric repeats, encoded in the telomerase RNAs (TERs), and the repeat-binding proteins from 13 species belonging to the Yarrowia clade. We identified putative TER loci, analyzed their sequence and secondary structure conservation, and predicted functional elements. Moreover, in vivo complementation assays with mutant TERs showed the functional importance of four novel TER substructures. The TER-derived telomeric repeat unit of all species, except for one, is 10 bp long and can be represented as 5′-TTNNNNAGGG-3′, with repeat sequence variations occuring primarily outside the vertebrate telomeric motif 5′-TTAGGG-3′. All species possess a homologue of the Yarrowia lipolytica Tay1 protein, YlTay1p. In vitro, YlTay1p displays comparable DNA-binding affinity to all repeat variants, suggesting a conserved role among these species. Taken together, these results add significant insights into the co-evolution of TERs, telomeric repeats and telomere-binding proteins in yeasts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number13365
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

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© 2019, The Author(s).

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